Sometimes I still wonder what it would be like to have a daughter. Usually while passing through the girls' clothing section -- the dresses! the tights! the...oh, just the EVERYTHING! -- on my way to buy generic truck t-shirt version number 437 off the sale rack.
Sometimes it's while watching Jason gleefully rip open the packaging of Noah's first Transformer or win an eBay auction on the exact same Star Wars playset he had as a kid. That's when I remember that I still have a full and complete set of the original Strawberry Shortcake figurines in my parents' attic, and that my Rainbow Brite was still in remarkably good shape the last time I went through the boxes.
Not that our toys are all so strictly, intentionally gendered. We have baby dolls and a tea set and Noah's a huge, huge fan of both The Little Mermaid and Princess and the Frog and owns quite a few toys from both, most recently the Princess Tiana beach towel that he chose over the Cars and Toy Story versions. Ezra's favorite toys are his doll stroller and a set of plastic pots and pans.
But still. They are SUCH BOYS. Noah asked for a dollhouse for Christmas and I saw the opportunity to FINALLY get something of mine out of the attic: my old wooden dollhouse, built by my mom when I was little. Oh! That dollhouse! Two minutes after the boys spotted it I realized I'd made a HUGE mistake, but it was too late. The front door was bashed in, a huge chunk of the roof ripped off and multiple windows were popping out their frames. I looked through the second box of furniture and laughed at how small and delicate everything was. I remembered meticulously setting the table with teensy plates and teacups and miniature flower arrangements; meanwhile Noah was trying to drive a car up the staircase and Ezra had his head and shoulders stuck in the living room.
(The boys completely ignore it, though the last time we had a little girl playmate over, she instinctively found it and quickly had our Woody and Buzz Lightyear figurines set up a nice little household together, setting up a nursery and drinking imaginary juice boxes.)
Ezra still calls every woman he sees "Mommy" but can correctly identify the difference between a Cah and a Tuck and Bus and a Chugga Chugga. On walks outside they have no interest in flowers or plants but lose their minds over bugs and worms and OMG A TRUCK JUST DROVE BY DID YOU SEE THAT TRUCK OMG.
They wrestle and tumble and argue endlessly over the same single plastic dump truck, even though they collectively own several dozen plastic dump trucks. Noah simply has to walk by Ezra and he immediately clutches whatever he's playing with to his chest and shrieks "MINE!" at his brother.
And yet, they give each other goodbye kisses every morning before Noah gets on the school bus, and then Ezra watches the bus drive away with a mixture of insane jealousy and intense admiration. They'll casually hold hands while watching TV on the couch, or in the car. Noah helpfully encourages Ezra to eat all his food so "you can be a big strong boy, like me!" and has already promised him his little scooter once he's old enough for a bigger one. Ezra calls his brother "Nona" and taps his nose when he first sees him in the morning, or right after school. Sometimes they just laugh and laugh and laugh at each other and I have no idea why.
I'm so happy I have two boys, two brothers, and I'm grateful for all the times they let me join in the fun.
PS. New @ TheStir: Also grateful that I no longer have to share my iPhone.